Top 5 wedding planning tips!
The most important things you need to know when plan a wedding
Once the question has been popped and you start getting down to the wedding day detail, it certainly can feel a little daunting at first, but fear not, your wedding fairy is here with a rundown on all the fundamentals needed, to get you going on your big day prep – hassle free…
Here’s my top five quick-fix wedding planning tips…
How much cash have you got to splash?! Calculate a running total and break down the costs for each element of your big day. Take out 10% of your overall budget to act as an emergency fund for any costs that may crop up along the way or, to top-up cash allocation for specific elements such as the cake and flowers.
Big Day Bible
An essential bit of kit for any wedding planner to be, The Big Day Bible is your personalised a-z checklist of what to do and when. From securing the venue to selecting the dress, a concise countdown of jobs-to-do, is a total must-have piece of kit for anyone planning a big day celebration. Investing time in this plan right from the off, guarantees to ease your overall journey to the aisle of love, whilst at the same time ensuring you have everything effectively in place ready for the wedding itself – without stress levels reaching boiling point. Check out weddingsite.co.uk – a brilliant online resource for managing your big day effectively.
Get in the mood – for romance…
Every wedding needs a clear style or theme to bind the celebration together and knowing where to start can be a challenging task. I know it’s a bit of a cliché, but the best approach is to start with a blank canvas, so you can build a unique picture of your celebration organically. Do not stifle your creativity with too many set ideas right from the beginning, start with an open mind and see what evolves. The true genius of a person is often bubbling subconsciously… here’s what to do:
Spend an afternoon grabbing a ton of wedding, food, home design and celebrity magazines highlighting your favourite dresses, interiors, menus and hairstyles. Rip out the pages you love and pop on a big board to create a montage of imagery. This we know in the business as a mood board, which you can then use to identify your favourite themes, styles and colour-ways to slowly build an overall concept for the wedding. This mood board is also really handy for taking to supplier sessions – especially the cake maker and florist, to inspire and steer their creativity.
And for those who prefer a more modern approach, remember www.pinterest.com is now one of the world’s number one online sites to pick up inspirational wedding ideas. Build yourself a digital board via an Ipad or similar device and use this to take along to supplier sessions. Many of the National wedding magazines also have Pinterest boards now, so it’s definitely a great place to start getting those creative juices flowing!
For many brides-to-be this is where the pressure really kicks in – unearthing the one! And I am not talking about your man! The hunt for a dream dress can often be a stressful affair and knowing where to start can be just as bad. Heading straight to your local bridal store can sometimes be a bit of a gamble and often means you settle without fully investigating all options. So, before commencing all that legwork, why not start on the sofa and check out my four fabulous online finds to get an idea of what might work for you. Yes, these little nuggets of gorgeousness are buzzing with bridal fashion, direct from the coolest catwalks on the planet and offer a stunning array of glitzy artisan accessories that you just won’t find on any standard high street. We are talking A-list here people, but not necessarily with the A-list price tag! These little black books of fashion heaven are teaming with originality and are updated hourly to ensure you are kept abreast of what’s hot and happening – literally as it happens! Here’s my official run-down Ladies:
www.lovemydress.net – I just adore this site for sourcing super sassy accessories and discovering new designers most of us would never hear of otherwise!
www.weddinggowntown.com/blog – From Vera Wang to Valentino, if it’s on the catwalk it’s in wedding-gown-town! I love this blog for identifying new trends and pointing out upcoming styles for the season ahead.
www.bridechic.blogspot.com – A joyous homage to bridal fashion, with Bride Chic we also get some really fantastic out-of-the-box ideas and distinct styling themes – ideal if you are looking for a strong non-traditional big day look.
www.lovelybride.com/blog – And finally with Lovely Bride we uncover some edgy classics alongside a wonderful mix of real life weddings – perfect for seeing how a dress truly comes to life on the day itself.
Whether you are looking for city chic or a rural retreat, there really is something for everyone. I always advise every couple I meet to choose a space with character that represents their unique relationship and personalities. Now for some, this can be quite extreme. Getting hitched down a coal mine or on the wings of an aeroplane is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, but it certainly is unique! For most of us though, the day itself is about cementing a union between two people and the venue of choice should represent that union. Wow, I am getting quite teary already!
Ok, so where do we start? Well, generally the geographical location is the best place to begin. Once this has been decided you can work with the venues located in that area. Even if you have an ideal place in mind, I always advise to view at least 5 other spaces to spark ideas and inspire you both. The amount of people that have a venue in mind and then choose another is incredible so make sure you don’t limit the possibilities.
During the first viewing make sure you go as a couple to ‘feel the space’ and probe the wedding co-ordinator for all the info you require including: menu options, wedding packages available and on-site accommodation. Try to get a real feel, as to how the day itself will unfold. Make a list of questions beforehand and do not be afraid to ask. It is their job to make your day a reality. If you are concerned about the costs involved, tell them and see what they can offer. Summer bbq’s or sharing foods, such as home-made pizzas with all the relevant accompaniments, are all the rage at the moment and can often be much lighter on the budget than a traditional evening buffet. A great coordinator generally has a solution, but of course you must be realistic!
Selecting a wedding venue is a bit like buying a house for the day. Make sure you ask lots of questions and trust your gut feeling. Sometimes if it just feels right then that is the venue for you! And if you are not sure, book a menu tasting session in the restaurant. Some venues offer this as a complementary service once booked, but don’t take it as red – some don’t. And if you want/need input from others or need some re-assurance then feel free to take key family members or friends on the second visit.
And finally, once the decision has been made, make sure you put some thought into the actual day itself. Don’t just let the wedding coordinator put together a generic day for you. Ensure you add those personal little touches and have some fun! Maybe you want to create your very own ‘wedding breakfast cocktail’ or invent a pudding in honour of your new surname! Whatever you do, remember my three p’s ‘personalise, personalise and personalise some more’ oh and enjoy every second!
Wedding Planning Book
For more ideas, tips, inspiration and a complete rundown on planning a wedding, check out my wedding planning book -
BIG DAY BREAKDOWN!